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hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan

Pronunciation

Generic Name: hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan (HYE droe klor oh THYE a zide and val SAR tan)
Brand Name: Diovan HCT

What is hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill) that helps prevent your body from absorbing too much salt, which can cause fluid retention.

Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Valsartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan is a combination medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering blood pressure may lower your risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan is usually given after other blood pressure medicines have been tried without success.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (such as Tekturna or Tekamlo).

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to amlodipine (Norvasc) or valsartan (Diovan), or if:

  • you are unable to urinate; or

  • you are allergic to sulfa drugs.

If you have diabetes, do not use hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (such as Tekturna or Tekamlo).

You may also need to avoid taking hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

To make sure hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium, or high levels of calcium in your blood);

  • a heart attack;

  • angina (chest pain), congestive heart failure;

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • gallstones;

  • an allergy to penicillin;

  • a severe allergic reaction to another heart or blood pressure medicine;

  • lupus, gout, or high levels of uric acid in your blood;

  • glaucoma; or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take this medication with or without food.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medication. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan.

Keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Blood pressure medication is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, regular blood pressure testing, lifestyle changes, and other medications. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or stop taking any of your medications without your doctor's advice.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan, unless your doctor has told you to.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may cause side effects.

If you also take cholestyramine or colestipol, avoid taking it for at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after you have taken hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain;

  • eye pain, vision problems;

  • an unusual skin rash;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • signs of an electrolyte imbalance--dry mouth, increased thirst, drowsiness, confusion, feeling restless, vomiting, muscle pain or weakness, lack of energy, fast heartbeats, little or no urine, or a seizure.

Common side effects include:

  • dizziness; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 1 tablet (12.5 mg-160 mg) orally once a day

Maintenance dose: Titrate as necessary (every 1 to 2 weeks) up to a maximum of 25 mg-320 mg orally once a day

Comment:
-Hydrochlorothiazide-valsartan may be substituted for the titrated components.

What other drugs will affect hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan?

Many drugs can interact with hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • cyclosporine, digoxin, digitalis, lithium, or ritonavir;

  • all your heart or blood pressure medicines;

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine;

  • a diuretic or "water pill";

  • opioid (narcotic) pain medicine;

  • a sleeping pill;

  • vitamin or mineral supplements that contain potassium;

  • an antibiotic--rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine;

  • cancer medicine--cyclophosphamide, methotrexate; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about hydrochlorothiazide and valsartan.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01.

Date modified: September 05, 2017
Last reviewed: July 18, 2017

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